Prague, June 5, 2019 – Unipetrol has been a strategic partner of the University of Chemistry and Technology Prague (VŠCHT Praha) since 2002. Representatives of both parties have signed an agreement of cooperation for three more years. The value of the agreement is CZK 3.9 million. Since the beginning of cooperation, Unipetrol has already contributed almost CZK 30 million to the University’s education and development activities.
“Our cooperation with Unipetrol has just come of age because the first agreement was signed in 2002. After many years of cooperation, we have returned to a multi-year model which will enable us to better plan joint activities,” says Karel Melzoch, Rector of the University of Chemistry and Technology Prague, adding: “Specifically, we want to strengthen the food and water technology programmes in the next academic year because of huge demand for these issues due to droughts in the Ústí Region. Chemists with expanded economy knowledge are sought after these days, too, and we also plan to offer a programme in English specialising in chemical industry management.”
“I think that the many years of cooperation culminated in 2015 with the establishment of the University Centre of the University of Chemistry and Technology directly on our production premises in Litvínov- Záluží. Students acquire new knowledge directly in the heart of the largest chemical plant in the Czech Republic and they have easier access to linking their theoretical insights with practice. We offer both bachelor’s and master’s degree programmes. They can also use the laboratories of the research and education centre, UniCRE, right next to the University Centre. Our employees can benefit from this collaboration, too, because they can supplement the necessary specialised education right on the site,” Tomáš Herink, a member of the Board of Directors of Unipetrol who is responsible for investments, research and development, adds.
Unipetrol’s donation is annually used to cover the organisation of a chemistry Olympiad for secondary school students or an instruction programme called “A Lesson in Modern Chemistry”. A special team goes to primary schools and shows both to teachers and pupils that a chemistry lesson can be a lot of fun. Our cooperation also includes other educational projects promoting chemistry among the general public and raising student and children interest in this subject. In addition, financial donations are annually awarded to the authors of the best graduate theses (Bachelor’s and Master’s). The VŠCHT Praha-Unipetrol collaboration also focuses on popularisation of chemistry and on raising the interest of children and students in chemical fields. “For us, VŠCHT is also a source of future employees – developers, researchers and the next generation of managers,” Tomáš Herink adds.
Beyond its activities, VŠCHT also organised the 50th annual International Chemistry Olympiad in Prague and Bratislava last year. It was attended by 300 secondary school students from 76 countries and Unipetrol was there again as a main partner.